Winter has officially begun here in Belgium and brought a cold misty night for FCI’s first game against KVV Vosselaar this season.
While the weather was gloomy, FCI was gifted a visit from Ted Lasso for a pre-game pep talk. Ted’s high energy was felt and pushed FCI ladies into a roaring start. While Flemish might not be our native language as a team, these women were shaking in their boots with the high pressure and intensity FCI was inflicting on them. It was clear that this past week’s practice focus on high-tight pressure was working. FCI had put together many opportunities in front of the net but, unfortunately, couldn’t get anything to go in. Halfway through the first half, KVV had a breakaway and was able to find the back of the net. Putting FCI down 0-1. KVV closely followed up again with a goal off of a free kick; there wasn’t much FCI could have done as KVV bent it like Beckham into the goal. This 0-2 deficit didn’t put FCI in a rut; keeping the pressure and utilizing quick passes in the midfield to create opportunities moving forward, FCI was able to work the ball into the corner to Mel 1 (Sarah C.) with a beautiful cross into the box to Mel 2 (Parker), who gave a “purposeful” swing and miss and let the ball go through her legs and onwards to Mel 3 (the real Mel) who was right where Mel 2 needed her to be and finished the ball into the back of the net—getting FCI back into the game as FCI headed into the half down 1-2.
As the first half of the game was some of the best soccer/football FCI has played all season, the same strategy and gameplay continued into the second half. Both teams came out wanting to win. Unfortunately, KVV was able to find the net first again, bringing the score to 1-3. With a lot of time remaining, FCI stayed strong and pushed onwards. Sydney had a breakaway ball and was fouled in the box, giving FCI a penalty kick. Calm, relaxed, and focused, captain Sophia stepped up and laid a bullet into the bottom right corner of the net. Bringing FCI right back into it, the score is 2-3. The intensity never broke for either team, so much so it became a bit of a card show in the second half (some deserved and some not). A massive shout-out to the defensive line, who killed it all game with countless stops. Don’t forget Marie, who rocked it in goal, coming off her line multiple times with sliding saves to help hold KVV at three goals. With a final whistle, it was a tough loss for the FCI ladies.
While the winter weather may be gloomy, the FCI ladies look bright and ready to take on these challenging months. This was some of the best soccer/football the team has played all season. This winter should surely be bright for the FCI lady’s team moving forward.